Wheel vs Tiller - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 15 Old 07-16-2007
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Exactly how does adding or removing ballast from the hollow keel "balance" the rudder??? The helm balance of a boat is generally determined by the sail plan in use at the time and the underwater profile of a boat—the keel and rudder profile.

The keel isn't hollow. The rudder is.

The rudder is welded to a four-inch pipe which in turn is mounted top and bottom on steel flanges with Delrin washers to prevent contact of the dissimilar metals. The rudder itself has holes top and bottom to allow either ingress of water or so it can drain. If it was sealed, it would be buoyant and would cause friction on the upper bearing.

This is what I've been told by the previous owner. I have yet to try it out in practice...I just let the thing fill with lake water.
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post #12 of 15 Old 07-16-2007
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I still don't see how letting the rudder fill with water changes the balance of the boat. The underwater profile doesn't change at all.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog
I still don't see how letting the rudder fill with water changes the balance of the boat. The underwater profile doesn't change at all.
Perhaps I'm not being clear: Filling the rudder changes the balance of the RUDDER, or so I've been told, giving it more weight and inertia, which may be desirable in certain situations, like tiller vs. wheel. I still have to experiment with this aspect, though. It could be previous owner bafflegab. I just let the thing drain dry when I haul.

Balance of the boat doesn't enter into it, except in that I suppose putting a big air-filled and therefore buoyant rudder off the stern might provide some miniscule amount of trim!
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the difference in the helm if the rudder is full or empty is probably insignificant compared to the change if the sail plan is properly balanced for the conditions.

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post #15 of 15 Old 07-16-2007
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I had a 17' Holder Vagabond with a tiller. Boat sailed great, tiller was fine, boat super-responsive with tiller...

Now, I have a 30' US Yachts with wheel steering. Oh, how I love wheel steering! I can steer with my feet! I only have to disconnect the shore power and dock lines, while my boat neighbor, with his Starcraft 23, has to do that AND not only fight with the outboard putting it down, but must wrestle the tiller. (BTW- how I also love an inboard diesel!)

It just depends on what your likes and preferences are. Everyone is different- some people like tillers, and some people like wheels. It is all about what you want and feel most comfortable with on your boat.

Chris
US 30' Wu-Wei
DIY Sailor, US Yachts owners group
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